Justin Haugen

OWNER - JUSTIN HAUGEN PHOTOGRAPHY

I'm a wedding and portrait photographer from Tucson, Arizona heavily involved with my photography community. I've been doing photography for 14 years and full-time for the past 5 years as I've grown my business and photographed over 160 weddings. Recently I've partnered up with a close friend to open a Co-op photography studio to help give photographers an accessible studio experience and to host educational events for our photography community.

If you could tell your younger self something you’ve learned along the way, what would you say?

NOTHING HAPPENS FAST. I wish I could go back and prepare myself better for all the time that it would take for me to realize any kind of tangible sense of accomplishment in life and career. The process is just as rewarding as the goals attained and you'll never be fulfilled if you measure success by goals that are bigger than your efforts.

What is the most unique or special place you’ve worked/done a shoot?

The Martinez Funeral Chapel. Through my work experiences, I encountered a wonderful family that tasked me with doing a family photo shoot one Thanksgiving. Together they help families with after life services in their funeral home and chapel. The year following the shoot they lost the patriarch of their family and I was asked to document his procession and memorial. Being i that space, close to their family, I realized the power of photography and its ability to help others remember, cope, grieve, and heal. It's easy to photograph people when they are on their happiest days, but photographing a family through their deepest loss really transformed my photography and process.

What inspired you to become an image maker?

Given that it was 14 years ago and I was 20 years old when I first started, I just wanted to take "cool" photos of cars. Through the years, it took growing as a person and repeating the act of photography over and over again to learn what was most important to me in the creative process. In time, it wasn't making a "cool" photo that mattered, but learning what photography could mean for me and my subjects and how it could help them remember a moment in their life or document a feeling for years to come. I've become obsessed with the idea and the practice of communicating everything about a person in one photo. The psychology of the creative process and how I connect with people has become more important to me than the technique of physically using the camera.